There may be instances when you need to track and deliver work on a regular basis for a project or client. For example, each month you complete a website update for your client. Instead of entering a new task each time, you can enter the task once and make it a recurring task.
This is an introductory article on recurring tasks. You’ll learn about the following topics:
- Components of recurring tasks,
- Benefits of using recurring tasks, and
- How to create a recurring task.
- Save yourself some work. There’s no need to enter the same task and task details every week. Create a recurring task that will automatically populate on the time interval of your choosing.
- Stay informed. Recurring tasks consist of a series master and occurrences. The series master contains information on every task occurrence: assignments, due dates, and budget information.
- Stay on top of deadlines with recurring tasks when hitting a regular due date is a priority.
Components of Recurring Tasks
Think of recurring tasks like a recurring meeting you'd create in your favorite calendar app. You have a master and individual record for each future meeting. Recurring tasks work in a similar way: there’s a series master record for a task, which contains information about the task at large, and a record for every individual task occurrence. However, recurring tasks don’t have the invoice setting options that single tasks do.
Let’s look at these definitions in closer detail.
Series Master is the parent record for all task occurrences in the recurring task series. It’s where the general schedule is established for the series and task-related hours, expenses, and invoicing data is stored. Creating a series master is the first step to set up a recurring task.
The budget on the Series Master should be the calculated total for the series. For example, if you're going to invoice $100 for 12 months, the budget should be $1,200 on the series master.
Occurrences are the individual recurring tasks within a series. Completing one occurrence brings in a new one. Occurrences can be edited at the occurrence level or within the series master. Keep in mind that deleting a single occurrence doesn’t delete the entire series.
Start and End Dates have some nuances to be aware of. Start date is when you want to start the series; this date cannot be retroactive. End Date is when you want the recurring series to end; this date can be edited. Changing the due date on a single occurrence will not change the End Date on the Master Series.
Exercise caution with your start and end dates. You’ll close your recurring task if your start date is 3/1/19, end date is 3/31/19, and you’ve set it to recur monthly.
NOTE: The task type can’t be changed on a recurring task, but the status can be updated.
Why Use Recurring Tasks?
Recurring tasks help you track and manage due dates for regularly occurring or ongoing work. This prevents you from remembering to manually enter the same task and task-related details each week or month.
A recurring task is automatically assigned to an individual for a specific due date. When the staffer marks one task in the recurring task series complete, the Task Dashboard will queue up the next one. Plus, you can change staff assignments from one task occurrence within a series to another. You can also report on each occurrence within a series from the Report Center.
TIP: Use Recurring Tasks for Managing Deadlines
Recurring tasks are primarily used as a project management tool for tracking regular deadlines—not for managing budgets. Transaction data is stored only at the series master level, which prevents drilling down and capturing budget data on an occurrence-by-occurrence level.